17 May 2005

resolutions and Reality

Ahh, summer break. Well it's not really a break since I'm taking summer school. But anyway, summer break. Another time of the year when we feel the need to renew our vows to a better self. Since I have a tendency to set expectations too high for myself to reach, such as "I'll go to the gym X times a week," I was thinking that what the hell, why not set the bar a little lower and just try read at least 3 non-academic books this summer.

Some ideas: finish the Corrections (been "reading" on and off since December), Bowling Alone, Fast Food Nation (to try and scare myself away from crappy food forever), Blink....any other suggestions?

I've also been thinking a lot lately about how I spend nearly every freakin' minute of my life trying to do something to improve myself. Sitting around? I should at least educate myself and listen to NPR. Dinner? Well, I better stock up on fiber so I don't get colon cancer. It's not that fun and pretty self-absorbed. It makes me feel like I'm missing out on so much that could be fun...like what's wrong w/ taking a couple of hours to go shopping just b/c I feel like it.

In one of my classes this semester Human Development Across the Lifespan, we read (well...I sorta read the first couple of chapters anyway) this really fascinating book called Spectrum of Consciousness by Ken Wilber. The premise is based on quantum physics and the idea that we are one with everything in the world....like in physics, you, your chair, and the Eiffel tower can all be broken down into energy. It's really freakin' complicated but basically he says that there are these different levels of consciousness: the Shadow Level, the Ego Level, the Existential Level, and the Level of Mind. The Level of Mind is the only mode of being in which we are truly connected with Reality (big R there)....we are directly experiencing life by being one with what is going on in the hereandnow. We're not fettered by the expectations and burdens of the External world. Most people are stuck at the Shadow and Ego levels, dealing with their inner demons or their impulses. The whole model is meant to show how various spiritual traditions converge into this journey to get in touch with a higher being, a higher state of consciousness...in Wilber's opinion that is the Level of Mind. Yeah, it's a damn complicated concept, and I probably didn't explain it in a way that elucidates it for you but I suggest checking it out....

This little rant is connected to my former rambling b/c I feel like I'm not really living in the moment. I'm always doing things with the anticipation that it will serve me better in the future. Maybe if I just chill out and live for today, I'd be a much happier person. So perhaps I will try to do this by reading something that has no intellectual value but is the kind of book that makes me want to stay up all night reading it. Something with a pink paperback cover...

1 comment:

Diana said...

Spoken like a true perfectionista! :) I'm always on the hunt for self-improvement too. I just read the book Around the World in 80 Dates by Jennifer Cox --a good beachy read which is a travel anthology and true story of a woman's quest to find her soul mate. I don't know if you've ever read Jennifer Weiner's books "In her shoes" or "Good in bed" but they are hilarious and have pink on the cover. Best of luck with relaxing amidst summer school!! Hope you're well~